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Queen's Birthday Honours: Knighthood for professor creating super accurate cancer tests

PUBLISHED: 22:30 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 13 June 2019

Prof Mark Caulfield... knighted in Queen's Birthday Honours. Picture: QMUL

Prof Mark Caulfield... knighted in Queen's Birthday Honours. Picture: QMUL

QMUL

Professor Mark Caulfield has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours for his world ground-breaking work at Queen Mary University with cancer therapies in helping to create faster and more accurate diagnoses.

Knighthood for Mark Caulfield who helped create NHS 'genomic test' directory for better cancer and blood tests. Picture: QMULKnighthood for Mark Caulfield who helped create NHS 'genomic test' directory for better cancer and blood tests. Picture: QMUL

He has been leading the government's Genomes project at the university's medical research centre which sequenced 100,000 whole genomes in 2018 that has resulted in life-saving results for NHS patients.

He helped the NHS create its national 'genomic test' directory giving 55 million people across the UK equal access to better diagnostic tests that depend on clinical need and broke new ground setting up a 'coalition' of 3,000 researchers worldwide.

"I have been lucky to stand alongside giants from the NHS, universities and the government," Prof Caulfield said.

"But most importantly our participants helped me transform genomics in healthcare which has made our nation the world leader in applying genomic medicine in the NHS."

Knighthood for Mark Caulfield who helped create NHS 'genomic test' directory for better cancer and blood tests. Picture: QMULKnighthood for Mark Caulfield who helped create NHS 'genomic test' directory for better cancer and blood tests. Picture: QMUL

Prof Caulfield graduated from the London Hospital Medical College in Whitechapel in 1984 and later specialised in clinical pharmacology at Queen Mary's, making substantial contributions to the discovery of genes related to cardiovascular health, cancer and rare diseases.

Queen Mary University's president and principal Prof Colin Bailey said: "Mark's outstanding work in genomics has been recognised with such a prestigious honour. His pioneering work paves the way for precision healthcare across the world. He is one of our stars at Queen Mary."

Prof Caulfield's research has discovered more than 1,000 gene regions for blood pressure which has improved high blood pressure treatment and has put him among the top one per cent of the most-cited researchers worldwide.

He was appointed chief scientist in 2013 for Genomics England, an organisation run by the Department of Health to sequence 100,000 genomes from NHS patients with cancer and rare diseases.

Genomics England's chief Jonathan Symonds said: "Mark's knighthood is a fitting recognition of an extraordinary pioneering scientist whose contribution to medical research is respected worldwide with new diagnoses and better treatments benefitting people across the world."

Prof Caulfield led the project to open Barts prestigious heart centre, bringing three hospitals together in 2015 including the London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green to create the UK's largest heart centre.

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